Office Closure Message: The Foundation’s office will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.

New Request for Proposals: The Foundation is currently seeking RFPs from nonprofits interested in hosting a highly skilled Del Mar Encore Fellow. Learn how to apply

Have a question? Review our frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is a tax-exempt public charity built on the concept of people helping people to improve the quality of life in a particular geographic area. 

Since 1921, individuals, families, corporations and organizations have established more than 4,100 charitable funds through The Dayton Foundation to contribute to IRS designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations locally, nationally and even internationally. By providing low-cost administrative services, The Dayton Foundation has built a collection of endowed funds while supporting our donor’s charitable wishes.

What does a community foundation do?

The Dayton Foundation, as the region’s largest and oldest community foundation, receives charitable gifts, manages charitable assets and makes grants according to our donors’ wishes. We offer a variety of customizable fund options to help people like you help others to meet their charitable goals. 

How does The Dayton Foundation invest fund dollars for growth?

The Dayton Foundation uses more than 50 foundation-approved investment managers in which to invest donors' funds, pending donation to charity.

With the assistance of our volunteer Finance Committee, comprised of members of leading financial and investment institutions and businesses, we regularly evaluate investment performance to assure successful achievement of stated benchmarks. We also employ the Fund Evaluation Group to provide third-party evaluation of investment performance on a quarterly basis. The Dayton Foundation’s Governing Board has final oversight of investment policies and performance.

What are the financial benefits and tax advantages of gifting through The Dayton Foundation?

The Dayton Foundation is a public charity, so donations qualify for the maximum available deduction for charitable contributions in the year when the gift is made. We also can offer solutions to help reduce your estate tax liability.

When donating appreciated stock or other assets, you can receive a tax deduction for the full fair-market value of the stock on the date of the gift and avoid paying long-term capital gains tax on the increased value.

Our low annual administrative fees on endowed funds can enhance the tax-free growth of donated assets to endowment funds. This allows for more generous distributions to your favorite charities over time.

Why should I give through The Dayton Foundation instead of directly to the charity or charities of my choice?

As time changes, so may your charitable priorities or the priorities of your chosen charities. A permanent fund through the Foundation is a safeguard designed to carry out your charitable goals in perpetuity. With a fund through The Dayton Foundation, you may:

  • address a variety of charitable interests, whether you choose to support many different causes or your interests change in the future;
  • contribute a variety of assets, including appreciated securities and IRA assets;
  • receive one receipt for tax purposes;
  • leverage our charitable giving experts; and
  • receive maximum tax benefits – more than private foundations.

Can I recommend grants to organizations outside the Greater Dayton region?

Yes. In fact, we have fund holders who live throughout the United States, as well as internationally. We recognize that our fund holders have interests that lie outside the region and are happy to support their wishes. 

Can I establish a fund anonymously?

Yes. You can decide whether you want to be recognized for your giving or to remain anonymous.

Do I have to be wealthy to establish a fund?

No. Anyone can be a philanthropist. It does not require great wealth, just a concern or willingness to help others or a particular cause. We offer a variety of flexible, tax-advantaged giving options to help you reach your charitable giving goals.

Can other people contribute to my Dayton Foundation fund?

Yes. Some donors suggest to their friends and family that they give to their fund in honor of a special event, such as a birthday or anniversary, instead of purchasing a gift.

Is there a fee to establish a fund?

There are no fees to establish a fund with The Dayton Foundation. However, once a fund is opened and funded, there are annual community reinvestment fees associated with various fund types. For a complete list of fees, please contact a member of our Development and Donor Services team.

May I use my fund to make grants to charities outside the United States?

Yes. While international grantmaking can be complex and challenging due to governmental regulations, we can help. We offer several options to make charitable gifts to foreign organizations and make sure that they’re in compliance with U.S. tax laws and the Patriot Act’s anti-terrorism provisions.

I’m not a nonprofit organization, I’m just a person who needs some extra help. Can I apply for a grant?

The Dayton Foundation awards discretionary grants to qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations located primarily in Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Darke, Preble and Warren (north) counties of Ohio. We are unable to award grants to individuals, except in the case of scholarships, which are awarded directly to the educational institutions on behalf of the students.

We Can Help You Help Others

Like you, our staff of talented, educated and innovative people want to make our community better for everyone. Contact us to learn more.